Verse > Anthologies > Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed. > Poems of Places > Asia
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Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, ed.  Poems of Places: An Anthology in 31 Volumes.
Asia: Vols. XXI–XXIII.  1876–79.
 
Asia Minor: Smyrna
Smyrna
Seymour Green Wheeler Benjamin (1837–1914)
 
          Smyrna contested, with much plausibility, for the honor of being the birthplace of the blind minstrel. A cave in the vicinity is marked by tradition as Homer’s retreat.

THE SUNSET gun has died along the sea,
It is the evening of Bairami’s fête.
The torches on each tapering minaret
Flash in the rippling waters of the bay,
And purple vapor dims the droning town.        5
From Smyrna’s dewy gardens floats the scent
Of myrtle, rose, and citron, softly blent,
Like votive incense by each zephyr blown
Around Mæonides’ cave. Since he began
His deathless song, weird city of the dead!        10
Aged Smyrna! thou hast heard the busy tread
Of buried millions, where the caravan
Now wends its tinkling way by Meles’ stream,
Where ramparts moulder in the moonlight beam.
 
 
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